“There are no Don Draper insta-done scenarios happening over here,” says Hart.
The campaign marks the latest attack on dating culture, which has come to seem dehumanized in the binary, swipe-left-or-right age of Tinder.
(Other dating apps, including Hinge, have also based recent ads around fostering deeper connections between users.)Ok Cupid CMO Melissa Hobley tells Ad Freak that the new campaign signals the brand’s commitment to being focused on substance and depth, while also reflecting the issues and passions that people care about.“In the current political and social climate, we felt a responsibility and saw an opportunity to play a part in changing the conversation about dating culture and empowering each individual to reclaim the meaning of DTF and make it theirs,” she says.
It aims to achieve relevance through the brand voice, having found traction by leaning into politics over the past year—including adding a “Trump Filter” to its list of questions.“The response to this blew us away, and most importantly, signaled how important it was for people to be able to talk politics in dating,” Hobley says.
“We do this better than anyone, and regularly add political questions into the Ok Cupid experience.”The focus on politics is readily apparent in several of the new ads: The ads are aimed at anyone who wants to bring their full selves to dating.
I think Maurizio and Pierpaolo’s work creates visuals that are, by very their nature, optimistic and pleasant, which allows the content matter to venture into a more surrealistic world without losing its positive message.”The creatives Skyped with Cattelan and Ferrari a lot in the early stages, “which was different for us,” says Shriftman.
“They were very collaborative—I know the c-word is overused, but it’s true—and showed tons of mood reference for each concept while being super open to our ideas and feedback.”The creatives came up with scores of ideas for individual executions, but discarded most of them.
But Hobley says they may resonate especially with women, who are “aware that the phrase DTF was used historically in a negative way.
There’s power in taking that back and making it yours.”In terms of craft, the W K creatives said the campaign is meant to feel playful and positive, as a counterpoint to where so much of the dating scene is headed.“We set out to really explore what happened to chivalry and courtship and how modern-day dating seemed to be on a bad trajectory,” says copywriter Ian Hart.
Several of the ads also have a political message, adding to the already provocative use of “DTF” as a theme.
It’s a highly artistic campaign, too—W K worked with artist Maurizio Cattelan and photographer Pierpaolo Ferrari, the creators of Toilet Paper magazine, on the ads.
“It doesn’t actually matter if our users are straight or fall under one of the 13 sexual orientation options.